The crash of a German military Airbus Tiger helicopter in Mali last July was caused by incorrect settings on the autopilot, Germany’s Spiegel Online reported.
The helicopter crashed while flying a peacekeeping mission in the West African nation’s desert north, killing both crew members
Spiegel Online said the Defence Ministry informed the parliamentary defence committee about the findings on Tuesday.
It said the autopilot controlled the aircraft’s elevator. It remained unclear who programmed the settings on the autopilot software, not found on any other Tiger helicopters.
Spiegel Online cited a report from the Defence Ministry as saying the autopilot flew the helicopter sharply lower, leaving the pilots no chance to manually take the aircraft higher again.
A parliamentary source confirmed the gist of the Spiegel report.
An Airbus spokesman declined comment and referred all queries to German military authorities investigating the accident.
A defence ministry spokesman confirmed a report was presented to committee leaders on Tuesday and said it would be discussed in greater detail with members. He declined to comment on the reported cause of the crash.